Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Science and Art

So much is written about the connections between math and science.

Yesterday I observe many connections between science and art with my students as they painted their body tracings outside on our large acrylic easels.

One girl noticed after dropping several globs of paint onto the sand, "Look the ants like the pink paint the best."  hmmm, could they think it might be sweeter?  this could lead to an ant study for her.

Another boy noticed that after covering his hands with blue paint that he could get the sand to stick entirely to his hands and that made them look like he had gloves on-a lesson on the properties of adhesion.

A third child had trouble painting the arm of her portrait as the wind was blowing a bit so she tried painting off the paper causing it to stick to the easel solving her problem.  "Look, it sticks to the easel when I do this!"  She was quite proud of her discovery.  More information on adhesion.

Three other children who decided to paint together had to figure out how to balance on a low bench as taking turns was not the strategy that they chose to use.  This was a wonderful lesson in balance.

So as I was observing them, I was thinking about all of the scientific learning that was occurring during what I had planned as an art lesson.  Each child was learning something different-talk about differentiated learning!

It was also happening because I was letting one boy paint his hands, three children stand on a  bench together, paint spill on the sand and more.  I was there.  They were safe, but it was messy.

Ask yourself if you have this freedom in your teaching, so that the lessons you plan are free to go in other directions if the children start to take them that way.  That is when the best learning begins.

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